HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Organizations representing physicians, nurses, health care providers, public health interests, patients and others joined Public Health Committee Co-Chairs Rep. Jonathan Steinberg and Sen. Mary Abrams and other supportive legislators at the Legislative Office Building to urge support for the protection of Connecticut’s children by eliminating the non-medical exemption for state mandated vaccines.
According to the state Department of Public Health, there are now 134 Connecticut schools where the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination rate for kindergarten students falls below the federally recommended guideline of 95%. The data shows a 31.1% increase in the number of schools that fell below the 95% kindergarten MMR vaccination rate guideline, and 41 schools have MMR rates below 90%. The overall statewide number of religious exemptions to vaccination increased by 25% between the two school years. This represents the largest single year increase in religious exemptions for vaccination since the DPH started tracking the statewide data a decade ago.
“This is unacceptable and a growing problem, said Erin Jones, Regional Director of Government Affairs for March of Dimes and co-chair of the Vaccination Alliance of Connecticut. "We need to ensure that every school in Connecticut achieves the vaccination rate recommended by the CDC to keep diseases, like measles, from spreading and to protect our most vulnerable populations who, for medical reasons, cannot be vaccinated against these preventable diseases.” Jones added. “We applaud the leadership of Rep. Steinberg, Sen. Abrams, Sen. Anwar and others for protecting our children and supporting the science with the introduction of HB 5044, Jones concluded.
Together, parents, medical and public health experts and state lawmakers urged the Connecticut Senate and House to pass HB 5044 to eliminate non-medical exemptions to child vaccine requirements for school attendance.
Please visit VaccinateCT.org for more information and commentary from medical professionals, public health advocates, elected officials and others.
The Vaccination Alliance of Connecticut (VaccinateCT.org) is a group of healthcare providers, public health experts, nurses, physicians, organizations and parents that support good vaccine policy in Connecticut through the elimination of the non-medical exemption. For more information, please visit vaccinatect.org.